Project 111 - Maria Dembek and Robin McAulay
Watch 46 pictures from Project 111 in the 591 gallery view (no sound, unfortunately)
Project 111 is a series of analogue photographs taken by Maria Dembek and Robin McAulay in Berlin, 2009. The project documents the working and living spaces of several contemporary artists occupying a building at Torstrasse 111 in former East Berlin. The series depicts only a short moment in time taken from the program of perpetual changes of this unique property.
The main house was built approximately in 1880. In 2000 after a long period standing empty, the building including the courtyard was available for unrestricted use. It was soon occupied by a couple of artists who transformed the house into an art collective, workspace and artists run gallery.
The ca. 500 m2 / 32 room former residential property has been merged into one open unit by the consistent dismantling of specific residential structures and the re-opening of earlier apertures. It has become possible to experience the architecture, which has been modified to the new needs of the residents.
Old living spaces and traces of previous occupancy have slowly lost their mark and started to play a new role - of studios, galleries, storage space, acting spaces, workshops and bedrooms, sometimes all in one. But the main character and aim of almost all the spaces in the building have stayed temporary under the influence of constant change.
Each space of the house is documented with a diptych, one panoramic and the other a 35mm snapshot documentation of a detail from that space. The panoramic images have been created with a medium format wide-angle pinhole camera. The images are accompanied by the sounds of the house inadvertently recorded while exposing the negatives using a mobile phone voice recorder that doubled as a makeshift exposure timer. On average each pinhole exposure took 5 minutes. Within that time frame people walked in and out of the frame, conversations and situations started and finished even though the images look empty.
The whole project comprises of 76 photographs from 38 spaces, ca. 30 min sound. The sound edit for this proposal has been cut to 10 minutes. The project is currently on-going with around 14 spaces still undocumented and is due to be complete by early spring 2010.
I am very impressed with the work of Maria and Robin and I would love to see the complete exhibition.
There are of course several ways to document the story about Torstrasse 111, but I am really excited about the approach of Maria and Robin. Thanks for sharing. - Mr Urbano